|By Michael Bushong||
|February 28, 2014 01:49 PM EST||
The OpenStack Summit session voting is officially open, and Plexxi has two sessions in the running. Check out sessions from Nils Swart, The Future of OpenStack Networking, and Derick Winkworth, Group Policies for Neutron and evolving the abstraction model to merge with OpenDaylight, and get your votes in. In our video of the week, Dan Backman explains how the Plexxi Pod Switch Interconnect has increased the size of our product portfolio and looks at the differences between the switching platforms. Check out our video of the week and a few of my reads in the Plexxi Pulse – enjoy!
Eric Krapf, contributor to No Jitter, discusses how the communications industry is embracing SDN more and more as evident by Microsoft and HP’s use of a Lync API that can connect the communications servers with the controllers in an SDN architecture. This article has a great discussion, even though it’s not surprising that SDN is relevant in communications. If you think of communications as just another application of the network, then the idea that SDN will enable app-network exchanges is a natural extension of the technology. The issue is that people don’t frequently think of SDN as enabling app-network collaboration. It has gotten a fairly narrow definition around controllers and OpenFlow, which misses the point of abstractions and workload delegation. This article provides a very practical example of what can be done and highlights how SDN doesn’t need another 3 years to make an impact.
Jude Chao, editor at Enterprise Networking Planet, says more mergers and acquisitions will occur in the networking industry in 2014 according to a report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) this week. Jude says SDN is a major factor driving this industry shift. I agree with the underlying premise – that there will be consolidation. A small number of networking hardware and software players will get acquired and several startups will fail to pick up traction and lose out on subsequent rounds of funding. I also believe a few smaller vendors will break out as independent players. Interestingly, the action will be in the periphery as well. Analytics, monitoring tools, data collection, DevOps, and even point solutions for niche applications will do well, and a round of change for the VARs will occur. Deploying SDN will mean a shift in business models, and not all VARs will make the leap. Much of this industry shift is not necessarily tied to commodity hardware, because the underlying being hardware cheap is not that big of a driver for industry consolidation. Differentiation already exists in the software today, even if pricing favors hardware.
The Register’s Jack Clark discusses the “seismic shifts” in networking and focuses on a quote from AT&T’s head of technology and network operations, John Donovan, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, saying that the telco’s Supplier Domain Program 2.0 saves money. The networking industry has had good margins for a long time. This isn’t because of the hardware being intelligent or not. It’s because there hasn’t been much competition. The thousands of features that get deployed mean that the number of functionally equivalent devices for a particular spot in the network is small. With little competition, pricing stays high. Things like SDN are important for two reasons: first, they reset the architecture to some extent, which reduces the power of all those legacy features, and second, it helps automate workflow. The first point increases competition and drives prices down. The second addresses the bigger cost issue: managing all the devices. Ultimately, Cisco will drop their prices as competition heats up. They will be a player in the future of AT&T, just maybe not to the same extent they are today. But the real battle is going to be over long-term OpEx reduction. Merely making a cheaper switch doesn’t address that. If AT&T just wanted the same network they have today at lower prices, they would put pricing pressure on Cisco. This is about something much larger.
Blogger Ethan Banks contributed an article in Network Computing about how Ethernet switches and the purchasing process have changed in the last few years. He says buyers today “must learn a variety of technical nuances that set switches apart from one another, match those capabilities to their organization’s needs, and then move ahead to a purchase.” After reading this post, I wonder what the role of off-box capabilities will be in Ethernet switch selection in the future. SDN is about workflow automation. People interested in that will also key in on things like orchestration and DevOps. It could be that on-box support for what ultimately ends up being off-box functionality will matter more. I only mention this because I suspect that people will need to broaden their selection criteria beyond the box to include things like Puppet or Chef integration or even OpenDaylight support. It will take a confusing process and make it potentially even tougher in the short term. Those customers with a more solid grasp of current and future strategy will be in a better position to make these types of decisions.
ReadWrite contributor Jonathan Crane explains how the IT department will make important strides toward driving innovation and growth in 2014. Jonathan analyzes a recent Gartner that predicted numerous developments that will greatly impact the IT function across mobile device management, hybrid cloud integration and SDN. One of the things that becomes necessary in an infrastructure environment that is orchestrate as a whole and in support of the applications is the expression of application requirements in application terms. Basically, to operationalize things, someone has to be able to capture what is important across the infrastructure. This cannot be specified in networking language or compute language. It has to be expressed relative to the application. The various infrastructure systems then need to translate the requirements into underlying behavior. I mention this because someone has to own the application abstraction. That would seem to fit with your definition of the OM. And then the OM would translate (or facilitate the translation of) the application requirements into underlying configuration primitives. This obviously has to be done through data models and APIs; a manual translation would leave us where we are today. The question people need to be asking then is: who is defining the abstractions? And what tools do I need to use them? This is where open source projects like OpenStack and OpenDaylight come into play. Anyone who is in an OM role (or wants to be) needs to be looking at these projects very closely to understand how to intersect their IT operations with the availability of management frameworks and controller architectures.
Mitch Wagner at Light Reading says according to a Forrester analyst, Cisco customers can stop purchasing the company’s switches and Cisco will still prosper. There will always be people who predict the demise of the incumbent. That might be hyperbole, but there will certainly be headwinds. I don’t think Cisco is incapable of executing against an SDN strategy. They have proven they can develop products, and when in doubt, they have mastered the strategic acquisition. SDN, however, is a new architecture. The new architecture reduces the need for the tomes of legacy features that have made it exceedingly difficult to get off the Cisco drug. With a new architecture, you get a more level playing field with lower barriers to entry. It’s the increased competition that will whittle away share. Will it be 20 or 30 points? Probably not, but you could see a significant share movement over the next 3-5 years.
Tom Hollingsworth, the Networking Nerd, says SDN vendors are creating an event horizon, which is a boundary beyond which events no longer affect observers or the point of no return for things falling into a black hole. If SDN enables bidirectional communication between the apps and the network, it stands to reason that you would begin to architect each of them differently. Obviously you must start with making it possible; no one will change anything if there is no support for it, but you create applications that take advantage of network information. Imagine massive data replication jobs. If they are not time critical, you could schedule them and create pipes across the network. You could serve content from caches that were less congested. You could do things like variable bit rate for mobile connections that are shifting from 3G to Edge and back to LTE on a train ride. Ultimately, I agree with the premise of this post. I don’t think the future is overlays that are completely agnostic to the underlying network. I think there will be a desire to pin the overlays to the physical infrastructure and allow for the dynamic optimization of the physical transport to suit whatever is happening on the overlay.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,119
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,109
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,429
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,396
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,205
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,308
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,062
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,113
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 26, 2014 11:30 PM EST Reads: 1,111
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,111
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 26, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,150
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,540
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,358
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,667
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,561
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,693
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,717
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Nov. 23, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,874
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 23, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,826
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Nov. 23, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,864